East Texas Council of Governments

East Texas Council of Governments office Friday, March 1, 2019, in Kilgore.

The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is offering economic recovery assistance in relation to COVID-19.

ETCOG recently received funding from the Economic Development Administration to hire a disaster recovery coordinator through the EDA CARES Act Non-Competitive Application.

“His name is Daniel Seguin, and basically we are asking for any East Texas community leaders to call in and talk to the disaster recovery coordinator so that we can find ways to assist our jurisdictions and navigate through the recovery process,” said Lindsay Vanderbilt, Director of Communications for ETCOG. “We are in heavy communications with funding agencies and can assist finding funding opportunities to help recover from COVID-19, and we can help our jurisdictions apply and successfully submit grant applications. So we’re doing a call for our members to reach out so we can navigate and help through their needs and identify their needs, see if there’s some solutions that we are aware of to help them through the process.”

It is Seguin’s job to help people navigate through the disaster, find solutions and help people apply for the grants that correspond to them.

“We’re in heavy communications with the funding agencies,” Vanderbilt said. “We’ve heard what they’re looking for and we’re trying to match the members with the problems that they have going on, the projects that they have in mind to help with recovery. We’re trying to match the cities or counties to the funding agencies that have opportunities. So we’re an intermediary. We can help with those grant applications. We can provide grant writing assistance and just help walk them through the process so hopefully that they can successfully submit an application.”

These grants only require a 20 percent match in funds for now.

“Typically to apply for these funds it’s 50/50, meaning a community would have to have 50 percent of their project cost to put in,” Vanderbilt said. “With COVID-19, EDA has reduced that to 80/20... So it’s a drastic improvement from just a general project that typically requires 50/50 match. It is something to try to encourage more assistance opportunities right now.”

It’s all about economic recovery. Grant said projects types available include those for recovery and resilience, critical infrastructure, workforce development and manufacturing, exports and FDI, and opportunity zones.

“We see the massive impact on our economy from COVID-19, and we’ve got access to resources, so we’re essentially trying to help East Texas jurisdictions recover from the economic shock, try to get places back into an economic growth position in East Texas,” Vanderbilt said.

To get help finding and applying for funding opportunities, contact Daniel Seguin by email at daniel.seguin@etcog.org or by phone at (903) 218-6471.

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